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Automobiles

In South Korea's car industry, it's Hyundai, Kia and the also-rans

Smaller, foreign-affiliated companies struggle with COVID and tough unions

Renault Samsung has suffered a sharp drop in production at its sole plant in Busan as the French parent has reduced outsourcing to its South Korean unit.

SEOUL -- The gap between winners and losers in South Korea's auto industry is widening as Hyundai Motor and its affiliate Kia Motors leave their weaker rivals in the dust.

While earnings at Hyundai and Kia are recovering from the downturn brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, GM Korea, the local subsidiary of General Motors, Renault Samsung Motors and SsangYong Motor, which is owned by Indian automaker Mahindra & Mahindra, are struggling to stay afloat. The pandemic has underscored the diverging fortunes of the two leaders and the laggards.

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